Indie film invades Boston

By Bayleigh Von Schneider

Photo by Brad Searles

BOSTON, Mass.— The Independent Film Festival Boston will be taking over Somerville, Cambridge, Brookline, and Boston from April 27th through May 4th. This year marks the 9th year that the Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) has commenced. IFFBoston is the brainchild of two local friends Scott Moomaw and Jason Redmond. The two men said one day while at work to one another, “We should start a film festival”, and the Independent Film Festival Boston was a go. If you have a passion for indie film it is definitely worth checking this year’s festival out. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe stated, “The Independent Film Festival of Boston has become the major game in town: a smartly programmed and risk-taking festival that balances “big” indie films with the best in local filmmaking.”

The IFFBoston started in May, 2003 with only 34 films in total throughout all the categories, quite small compared to this year’s host of 58 film selections and over a dozen short films. IFFBoston may not be as big or have as much star power as its counter parts as The Sundance Film Festival or The Toronto International Film Festival but it is grabbing the attention of countless indie filmmakers. Bob Odenkirk, director of the film Melvin Goes to Dinner, a film selected to the inaugural IFFBoston stated, “Definitely one of the best-run film festivals I have been to.”

The Independent Film Festival Boston has shown widely celebrated films such as, Winter’s Bone, Saved!, 500 Days of Summer  and Cyrus. Films are submitted from all over the world, upwards of 1,200 films are submitted and roughly 100 are shown during the festival. The book, The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide named the festival “the premier film festival in Boston” and Movie Maker Magazine named IFFBoston among “The Top 25 Film Festivals worth the entry fee.”

IFFBoston has opportunities for student filmmakers to submit their work, and have their short films play with feature length films. The festival also has countless volunteers helping to ensure festivalgoers have the experience of a lifetime. Volunteer duties range from ticket taking, award ballot counting, and crowd control to greeting guests at the door while they wait for their film to begin. Many of the festival volunteers have stated that it is such a great opportunity to meet and just talk films with fellow film buffs, as well as having the opportunity to chat with the individuals who make the films they love. The festival only requires volunteers to work two shifts during the festival and the rest of the time volunteers are allowed to see whatever film they choose for FREE.

Whether you decide to volunteer or buy a festival film pass, countless well-respected people in the film industry believe this year’s festival will not disappoint. If you’re in the mood for some films that are fiercely independent then make your may to the Boston metro area on April 27th. The Boston Globe believes, “In 10 or 20 years, the IFFB may yet be one of the country’s premiere film festivals. For now, it’s the best badly kept secret in town.”

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